What makes beer the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage? From hops to final product, breweries employ microbiology, chemistry, physics, and a lot of attention to detail to make the product safe, and look and taste great. Helping them every step of the way are Thermo Fisher Scientific technologies. 

Hermitage Brewing Company and Strike Brewing Co. explain how science plays an important role in making the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage—beer. Combining science with the art of beer making, brewmasters can perfect the color, flavor and purity of the final product. See how science provides the essential ingredients of a quality beer.

Beer analysis

Beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, and the third most popular drink after water and tea. Beer is typically brewed from four basic ingredients:

  • Water
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Starch source (e.g., grain, malted barley)
  • Hops

The different varieties of beer result from variations in these ingredients, the additives used, and the brewing process. Brewers have to ensure that raw ingredients are consistent from batch to batch and a methodology is available to detect minute differences in the raw ingredients, as this can affect taste, color and the shelf life of the product. Once a manufacturer has developed a popular product they need to ensure that they can reproduce a shelf-stable product consistently, in sufficient quantity, and in compliance with any local and national regulations. 

Beer testing resources

Download the compendium for short summaries of application notes related to the analysis of the beer making process.


Beverage testing laboratory workflow solutions, ensuring beverage safety and quality for today's demanding consumers.

Featured breweries

Strike Brewing Co., located in San Jose, CA, crafts unique, year-round rotation ales, special seasonal ales and an experimental Bullpen Series. Drew Ehrlich and Jenny Lewis founded Strike Brewing Co. and launched their first brews in 2011. In 2014, they officially opened the Strike Brewing Co. taproom where they frequently host food trucks, trivia nights and special events to accompany their high-quality beers.

Priding themselves on not fitting the “mainstream brewery” mold, Hermitage Brewing Company in San Jose, CA is known for brewing unique, award-winning beers that are flavorful, rich in character and aroma-driven. Brewing three to four beers a day, Hermitage uses high-quality ingredients from around the world. Their first brewpub opened in 1987—one of the first in California—and is still open today.